1st Edition

Understanding Global Politics Actors and Themes in International Affairs

Edited By Klaus Larres, Ruth Wittlinger Copyright 2020
    446 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    446 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Contemporary international affairs are largely shaped by widely differing thematic issues and actors, such as nation states, international institutions, NGOs and multinational companies. Obtaining a deeper understanding of these multifaceted themes and actors is crucial for developing a genuine understanding of contemporary international affairs. This book provides undergraduate and postgraduate students of global politics and international relations with the necessary knowledge of the forces that shape and dominate our global political, economic and social/cultural environment. The book significantly enhances our understanding of the essentials of contemporary international affairs.

    Understanding Global Politics takes a pragmatic approach to international relations, with each chapter being written by an expert in their respective field:

    • Part I provides the historical background that has led to the current state of world affairs. It also provides clear outlines of the major yet often complex theories of international relations.
    • Part II is dedicated to the main actors in global politics. It discusses actors such as the most important nation states, the UN, EU, international organizations, NGOs and multinational companies.
    • Part III considers important contemporary themes and challenges in global politics, including non-state centered challenges. Chapters focus on international terrorism, energy and climate change issues, religious fundamentalism and demographic changes.

    The comprehensive structure of this book makes it particularly viable to students who wish to pursue careers in international organizations, diplomacy, consultancy, the think tank world and the media.



    Klaus Larres & Ruth Wittlinger


    1. Global Politics since 1945

    Klaus Larres

    2. Democracy: Problems and Challenges, Opportunities and Design

    Matthew Flinders and Marc Geddes

    3. The Global Economy and the "Great Recession"

    Mark K. Cassell

    4. Theorizing Global Politics

    Wayne McLean


    5. The USA

    John Dumbrell

    6. The People’s Republic of China

    Gudrun Wacker

    7. Russia’s Resurgent Political Identity

    Peter Eltsov

    8. India

    Christian Wagner

    9. The European Union

    Christian Schweiger

    10. Germany

    Ruth Wittlinger

    11. The United Nations

    Manuel Fröhlich

    12. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

    Linda Risso

    13. IMF and World Bank

    Rainer Hillebrand

    14. Non-Governmental Organisations

    Hannah Murphy-Gregory

    15. Regional Organisations

    Ulf Engel

    16. Multinational Businesses

    John Mikler


    17. Global Environmental Politics: Sustainable Development, Climate Change and the Energy Dilemma

    Sarah Cohen

    18. Transnational Politics of Migration: From States to Regimes and Agents

    Margit Fauser

    19. Global Poverty

    Indrajit Roy

    20. Failing States and Statebuilding

    Jutta Bakonyi

    21. Soft and Hard Power

    Annamarie Bindenagel Sehovic

    22. The Rise of Religious Fundamentalism

    Dianne Kirby

    23. Human Rights and the International Criminal Court

    Yvonne McDermott

    24. The Threat of Transnational Terrorism

    Tobias Hof

    25. Fighting Corruption Globally: A Case of Norm Diffusion in International Relations

    Holger Moroff

    26. Nuclear Proliferation and International Stability

    Jonas Schneider


    Klaus Larres is the Richard M. Krasno Distinguished Professor in History and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US. He served as Counselor and Senior Policy Adviser at the German Embassy in Beijing, China. Previously he was Professor at the University of London, UK, Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland and Johns Hopkins University/SAIS in Washington, DC, US. He held visiting professorships and senior fellowships at Yale, Tsinghua University in Beijing, the German Institute of International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin and the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey. He also held the Henry A. Kissinger Chair at  the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. He has published widely on post-1945 global affairs, including several books. In particular, his publications focus on the global Cold War, transatlantic relations in the post-1945 and post-Cold War years and trilateral relations among the US, China and Europe/Germany. Find his website at www.klauslarres.org.

    Ruth Wittlinger is Associate Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. She has published extensively on memory and identity in post-unification Germany and Europe. She is author of the monograph German National Identity in the Twenty-First Century: A Different Republic After All? and her research has been published in a number of journals including West European Politics, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, German Politics, German Politics and Society and Cooperation and Conflict. She has held research fellowships at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, DC, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is currently working on a project which examines the state of the German diaspora in the Former Soviet Union which involves field research in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia/Western Siberia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. In 2018, she became Chair of the International Association for the Study of German Politics.